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When I was looking to update the blogosphere on the advent of our parenthood, I couldn’t decide what to focus on. A tell-all about my experience having a baby in a military hospital? A detailed birth story? A soul-baring post about my diagnosis with ICP?
In the end, I’ve decided just to give you an overview, picking up where my last Pregnancy Update left off. I’m leaving the door open to go into greater detail on any of these in the future. But, for now, you’ll have to settle for the big picture post. And the big picture is I’M A MOM! And just in time for Mother’s Day too.
My last post left off with looking ahead to the rest of pregnancy…which was shaping up to be pretty uneventful. I did get to take my trip home to Alabama for some family time and baby showers. But immediately upon returning (like literally the same day), I started experiencing some unusual symptoms. Namely, itching like CRAZY. All. Over.
After a little over a day of constant, insatiable itchiness, I finally gave in and took myself to the L&D triage to figure out just what was going on. Long story short, it turned out that I had Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP.) ICP is a liver disorder that is specific to pregnancy, as the name implies. The treatment for it is essentially giving birth (along with taking medicine to mitigate the symptoms, which were quickly becoming unbearable.) Because ICP is associated with higher risks for complications late in pregnancy, I was scheduled to be induced at 37 weeks…which was about 3 weeks after getting diagnosed.
This made for a very exciting, worrisome, and busy last 3 weeks of pregnancy. In addition to losing 3 weeks of baby prep time, I was also having to go in for fetal non-stress tests twice a week, regular OB appointments weekly, and I was still going in for monthly growth monitoring ultrasounds due to my two-vessel umbilical cord. Basically, I lived at the hospital for that last month.
Plus, I wasn’t too thrilled about getting induced because everyone was telling me how long and grueling the process is. But being a planner, having a specific date in mind gave me peace of mind. And it was great for planning purposes, as we both live out of driving distance from our families. My parents and sister were even able to be there for the big day.
Not to mention, I hit the 37-week mark at the PERFECT time for Ivan’s schedule. He finished his last final for the semester at the beginning of that week. And he had our entire first week at home with the baby off. So although an early induction was not under the best circumstances, it did end up being perfectly ordained by God for our lives in this season.
Despite all the worry and weirdness of having a rare condition during my 3rd trimester, my birth experience was a good one. Labor was shorter than I was told to expect. It was less painful than I was warned (thanks epidural.) And the recovery was much swifter than anticipated (thanks mom for helping out for the first couple of weeks.) I received great care during my million hospital visits in the last few weeks (thanks to all my sweet nurses.) My family was there, Ivan was not having to stress about missing school, and we got to meet our sweet girl 3 weeks early.
And at the end of the day, all that really matters is that we are now a happy, healthy family of three.
See, don’t we look happy and healthy?